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Brennan's lineup


Steve Thomas
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I guess this has been talked about to death, but I was just a little curious about who was present when Brennan was confronted with Oswald.

I've gone through the lineups in the DPD Archives, and the only place I found one was in Box 6, Folder# 1, Item# 73, page 3.

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box6.htm

Mr. McCLOY. Were you present at the showup at which Brennan was the witness?
Mr. FRITZ. Brennan?
Mr. McCLOY. Brennan was the alleged----
Mr. FRITZ. Is that the man that the Secret Service brought over there, Mr. Sorrels brought over?
Mr. McCLOY. I don't know whether Mr. Sorrels----
Mr. FRITZ. I don't think I was present but I will tell you what, I helped Mr. Sorrels find the time that that man--we didn't show that he was shown at all on our records, but Mr. Sorrels called me and said he did show him and he wanted me to give him the time of the showup. I asked him to find out from his officers who were with Mr. Brennan the names of the people that we had there, and he gave me those two Davis sisters, and he said, when he told me that, of course, I could tell what showup it was and then I gave him the time.
Mr. McCLOY. But you were not present to the best of your recollection when Brennan was in the showup?
Mr. FRITZ. I don't believe I was there, I doubt it.

 

Mr. Sorrels. And when they came down there with him, I got ahold of Captain Fritz and told him that the witness was there, Mr. Brennan.
He said, "I wish he would have been here a little sooner, we just got through with a lineup. But we will get another fixed up."

So I took Mr. Brennan, and we went to the assembly room,

 

So when we got to the assembly room, Mr. Brennan said he would like to get quite a ways back, because he would like to get as close to the distance away from where he saw this man at the time that the shooting took place as he could.
And I said, "Well, we will get you clear on to the back and then we can move up forward."
They did bring Oswald in in a lineup.

He looked very carefully, and then we rooted him up closer and so forth

Mr. STERN - How many other people were in the lineup?
Mr. SORRELS - As I recall it, there were five. In other words, all told there was five or six--I don't remember. I believe there were five.

 

(At the 7:55 PM lineup with the Davis sisters, there were four people in the lineup)

 

In their WC testimony, neither C.W. Brown or C.N. Dhority make any mention of this lineup with Brennan and Sorrels. They were the police officers with the Davis sisters at 7:55 PM. Brown attended all four of the lineups. Fritz had to ask Sorrels who was there and to find out from his Officers who was there.

 

So, who was the “we” that Sorrels talked about?

 

Steve Thomas

 

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Steve I have some notes written down on this subject but can't really back up the veracity....

Detectives Sims, Boyd, Hall and Moore arrange the line up.

Line up was Richard Walter Borchgadt, Oswld, Ellis Carl Brazel and Don Ables .

Barbara and Virginia Davis brought in by CW Brown and CN Dhority, Brennan brought in by Forrest Sorrels and Winston Lawson.

Comparing that to what you have found in Box 6, Folder# 1, Item# 73, page 3. the difference is Winston Lawson. I can't really be sure where I got that name from though, sorry.

P.S. could the 'we' just be used proverbially? I know a lot of people that use it in that way, I sometimes do too.

Edited by Alistair Briggs
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Just did a quick search for Lawson's testimony and found this;

Mr. STERN. When did you next see Oswald?
Mr. LAWSON. I recall seeing him in another room in homicide headquarters with a couple of plainclothes people and their talking to him. I saw him later in the evening, perhaps 9:30, 10 o'clock, when he was brought down to a showup room, because we had information that a gentleman had seen someone at a window, and so----
Mr. STERN. Do you know who that was, the witness?
Mr. LAWSON. I do not know; no, sir.
Mr. STERN. Could it have been someone named Brennan?
Mr. LAWSON. The name doesn't mean anything to me. Mr. Sorrels had sent an agent out to bring him down to police headquarters to talk to him, and he informed us he had seen someone in the window, but he had also seen Lee Oswald on television in the meantime, and he didn't know of how much, value he would be.
Mr. STERN. Did he say anything about whether he thought----
Mr. LAWSON. He could not say yes or no, whether Oswald was the individual or not.
Mr. STERN. Did you notice any irregularity in the way the showup was conducted?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. STERN. Did it seem like a normal one to you, the size of the people?
Mr. LAWSON. I didn't notice any irregularity.

Addition, the name of the person Sorrels sent to pick up Brennan was, I think, William Patterson.

Edited by Alistair Briggs
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4 minutes ago, Alistair Briggs said:

Just did a quick search for Lawson's testimony and found this;

Mr. STERN. When did you next see Oswald?
Mr. LAWSON. I recall seeing him in another room in homicide headquarters with a couple of plainclothes people and their talking to him. I saw him later in the evening, perhaps 9:30, 10 o'clock, when he was brought down to a showup room, because we had information that a gentleman had seen someone at a window, and so----
Mr. STERN. Do you know who that was, the witness?
Mr. LAWSON. I do not know; no, sir.
Mr. STERN. Could it have been someone named Brennan?
Mr. LAWSON. The name doesn't mean anything to me. Mr. Sorrels had sent an agent out to bring him down to police headquarters to talk to him, and he informed us he had seen someone in the window, but he had also seen Lee Oswald on television in the meantime, and he didn't know of how much, value he would be.
Mr. STERN. Did he say anything about whether he thought----
Mr. LAWSON. He could not say yes or no, whether Oswald was the individual or not.
Mr. STERN. Did you notice any irregularity in the way the showup was conducted?
Mr. LAWSON. No, sir.
Mr. STERN. Did it seem like a normal one to you, the size of the people?
Mr. LAWSON. I didn't notice any irregularity.

Addition, the name of the person Sorrels sent to pick up Brennan was, I think, William Patterson.

Alistair,

Thanks, I was looking at that too.

Sorrels had William Patterson calling around trying to find Brennan, but I'm not sure he was the agent Sorrels sent to pick him up. I was reading through Patterson's testimony to the Church Committee here: https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1431&search=Patterson#relPageId=25&tab=page

from around pp 12 onwards

He talks about attending an interrogation of Oswald, but doesn't  say anything about attending a lineup. He said there about 5 or 6 agents from the Dallas office sitting around the DPD Headquarters in case Sorrels needed anything. He also didn't write up a Report, so I just don't know. He mentioned Roger Warner as being around, but I haven't gone back to see what Warner might have said.

 

Steve Thomas

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Ian Griggs did some great research on this and its all in his book No Case to Answer.  Basically there never was  a special Brennan line up per se....Brennan was brought into one of the DPD line ups, don't remember which one.  At that point he failed to give a solid ID on Oswald and was simply taken home with no record being made. That's from memory but someone with Ians book handy should be able to give all the details; he also presented  on this at Lancer many years ago.

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Steve,

Yeah I think you are right there. According to Sorrels WC testimony too it seems like all he did was enlist the help of William Patterson to track Brennan down, but it was someone else who went and picked Brennan up and brought him in. Could it have been Winston Lawson that brought Brennan in? Would kind of make sense as to why he was with Brennan at the line up.

Edited by Alistair Briggs
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29 minutes ago, Larry Hancock said:

Ian Griggs did some great research on this and its all in his book No Case to Answer.  Basically there never was  a special Brennan line up per se....Brennan was brought into one of the DPD line ups, don't remember which one.  At that point he failed to give a solid ID on Oswald and was simply taken home with no record being made. That's from memory but someone with Ians book handy should be able to give all the details; he also presented  on this at Lancer many years ago.

Larry,

 

Thanks. Ian and I talked about this years ago. Yes, it was a "special lineup" right after the one with the Davis sisters at 7:55 on Friday evening. I just got to wondering who was there. This is very strange to me. From what I can gather, no members of the Dallas Police Department attended. Here you've got a guy claiming to be an eyewitness to the shooting, and no one from the Police Department was there to watch him identify the assailant. That would never have stood up in a court of law would it? There were six members of the DPD who supposedly were there for the Davis sisters, although two of them: Moore and Hall said in their after-action reports that they didn't even attend that one.

Mr. MOORE. Well, I helped answer telephones mostly for, oh, I don't know, until the time I went out to North Beckley to search Oswald's room.
Mr. BELIN. At 1026 North Beckley?
Mr. MOORE. Yes; I believe that is right.
Mr. BELIN. About when was that?
Mr. MOORE. I am going to guess around 6 or so in the evening. The notes may show a little closer time.

 

Mr. BELIN. All right. About how long did you stay out there?
Mr. MOORE. Hour and a half, possibly.
Mr. BELIN. Then what did you do?
Mr. MOORE. We drove back to the city hall.
Mr. BELIN. Now I assume then that you went through the property and marked it, and what have you. This took a little bit of time?
Mr. MOORE. Yes; it did.
Mr. BELIN. Anything else on that day that has anything else to do with the assassination of the President or the Tippit murder that you can think of offhand?
Mr. MOORE. No.

 

H.M Moore's Report Box 3, Folder# 10, Item# 11

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box3.htm

After bringing the property back from 1026, he inventoried it.

Nothing about attending any lineup at all Friday evening.

 

Hall's Report Box 3, Folder# 7, Item# 2, page 2.

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box3.htm

 

Nothing about being in any lineup at all Friday evening.

Was not interviewed by the WC

 

Brown, Sims, Boyd and Dhority all wrote Reports, but make no mention of Brennan's lineup. Brown and Dhority took the Davis sisters home after their lineup.

 

It's just very weird.

 

Steve Thomas

 

 

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Steve, it is very strange and I suspect from a legal standpoint would have been pretty damaging....certainly it raises the issue of why the DPD was not treating him as an important witness at that point and it raises big questions about his later identifications and statements. Its almost as if somebody was dubious about him and just slipped him in to watch and check his reaction....when it turned out to be rather vague and not a positive ID they decided it would be best not to get him on record.  Remember, at that point in time the whole thing was still a very real, live investigation - later he would become useful to the Lone Nut story line and be retrieved...at least that's the way it looks to me.

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20 minutes ago, Alistair Briggs said:

Steve,

Yeah I think you are right there. According to Sorrels WC testimony too it seems like all he did was enlist the help of William Patterson to track Brennan down, but it was someone else who went and picked Brennan up and brought him in. Could it have been Winston Lawson that brought Brennan in? Would kind of make sense as to why he was with Brennan at the line up.

Alistair,

 

Thanks, but I don't think it was Lawson. Sorrels said he "sent" an agent to pick up Brennan. I don't that Sorrels would be "sending" Lawson anywhere. If anything, it would be one of the agents under Sorrels' direct command, like one of the guys from the Dallas office. Patterson said that there were five or six Dallas agents sitting around DPD Headquarters waiting around to see if there was anything Sorrels wanted. I think it was one of those, but I don't know which one.

And, if you read Lawson's testimony, he was only asked if there was anything unusual about the lineup. He didn't say who was there.

 

There is a listing in the Dallas Police Archives of the Secret Service personnel who assisted in the investigation of Lee Harvey Oswald. These names include:
Forrest Sorrels
Mr. Kelley
William H. Patterson
Roger Warner
Winston Lawson
Mike Howard – whose actual name is James H. Howard
Charles Kunkel
John Howlett
Dave Grant

 

Index Page, by an unknown author. Index page from notebook containing an inventory of information related to the investigation of the assassination and related cases - under index letter "s", (Original), date unknown. Dallas Police Archives Box 6 Folder # 1, Item# 72: as cited in the City of Dallas Archives – JFK Collection, http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box6.htm

I would look in the Reports by some of the others besides Lawson and Kelley.

 

Steve Thomas

 

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Steve,

For informational purposes only, I had a look through the Bugliosi book Four Days In November to find the time that he first mentions each of those names on the list, here are the results...

Mr. Kelley (Thomas J) first mentioned Sat 23d 10:35am (at interrogation of Oswald)
William H. Patterson only mentioned Friday 22nd 6:20pm (attempting to track down Brennan by phone)
Roger Warner first mentioned Sun 24th 4pm
Winston Lawson only mention (after Oswald has been taken in to custody) Fri 22nd 7:50pm (with Brennan at line up)
Mike Howard first mentioned Sat 23rd Noon
Charles Kunkel first mentioned 23rd 3pm
John Howlett first mentioned Sun 24th 12:50pm (consoling Robert Oswald)
Dave Grant only mentioned Sat 23rd 10:35am (at interrogation of Oswald)

 

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24 minutes ago, Alistair Briggs said:

Steve,

For informational purposes only, I had a look through the Bugliosi book Four Days In November to find the time that he first mentions each of those names on the list, here are the results...

Mr. Kelley (Thomas J) first mentioned Sat 23d 10:35am (at interrogation of Oswald)
William H. Patterson only mentioned Friday 22nd 6:20pm (attempting to track down Brennan by phone)
Roger Warner first mentioned Sun 24th 4pm
Winston Lawson only mention (after Oswald has been taken in to custody) Fri 22nd 7:50pm (with Brennan at line up)
Mike Howard first mentioned Sat 23rd Noon
Charles Kunkel first mentioned 23rd 3pm
John Howlett first mentioned Sun 24th 12:50pm (consoling Robert Oswald)
Dave Grant only mentioned Sat 23rd 10:35am (at interrogation of Oswald)

 

Alistair,

 

Have you ever read Winston Lawson's Report? The only place I can find it is a CD-ROM here:

http://www.paperlessarchives.com/jfk_assassination_secret_servi.html

 

Steve Thomas

 

PS: I once spent a while trying to find out who the Secret Service agent was who was present at Oswald's first interrogation at 2:20 in the afternoon. Something like six different policeman report one as being there, but never identified who he was.

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1 hour ago, Steve Thomas said:

PS: I once spent a while trying to find out who the Secret Service agent was who was present at Oswald's first interrogation at 2:20 in the afternoon. Something like six different policeman report one as being there, but never identified who he was.

I just read that Lawson, in a police car, led the motorcade that took jfk from Parkland back to Love Field at 2:14 PM, so it couldn't have been him. I didn't know that.

CE 1026 page 814

https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=1135#relPageId=828&tab=page

 

Steve Thomas

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7 hours ago, Steve Thomas said:

I guess this has been talked about to death, but I was just a little curious about who was present when Brennan was confronted with Oswald.

I've gone through the lineups in the DPD Archives, and the only place I found one was in Box 6, Folder# 1, Item# 73, page 3.

http://jfk.ci.dallas.tx.us/box6.htm

Mr. McCLOY. Were you present at the showup at which Brennan was the witness?
Mr. FRITZ. Brennan?
Mr. McCLOY. Brennan was the alleged----
Mr. FRITZ. Is that the man that the Secret Service brought over there, Mr. Sorrels brought over?
Mr. McCLOY. I don't know whether Mr. Sorrels----
Mr. FRITZ. I don't think I was present but I will tell you what, I helped Mr. Sorrels find the time that that man--we didn't show that he was shown at all on our records, but Mr. Sorrels called me and said he did show him and he wanted me to give him the time of the showup. I asked him to find out from his officers who were with Mr. Brennan the names of the people that we had there, and he gave me those two Davis sisters, and he said, when he told me that, of course, I could tell what showup it was and then I gave him the time.
Mr. McCLOY. But you were not present to the best of your recollection when Brennan was in the showup?
Mr. FRITZ. I don't believe I was there, I doubt it.

 

Mr. Sorrels. And when they came down there with him, I got ahold of Captain Fritz and told him that the witness was there, Mr. Brennan.
He said, "I wish he would have been here a little sooner, we just got through with a lineup. But we will get another fixed up."

So I took Mr. Brennan, and we went to the assembly room,

 

So when we got to the assembly room, Mr. Brennan said he would like to get quite a ways back, because he would like to get as close to the distance away from where he saw this man at the time that the shooting took place as he could.
And I said, "Well, we will get you clear on to the back and then we can move up forward."
They did bring Oswald in in a lineup.

He looked very carefully, and then we rooted him up closer and so forth

Mr. STERN - How many other people were in the lineup?
Mr. SORRELS - As I recall it, there were five. In other words, all told there was five or six--I don't remember. I believe there were five.

 

(At the 7:55 PM lineup with the Davis sisters, there were four people in the lineup)

 

In their WC testimony, neither C.W. Brown or C.N. Dhority make any mention of this lineup with Brennan and Sorrels. They were the police officers with the Davis sisters at 7:55 PM. Brown attended all four of the lineups. Fritz had to ask Sorrels who was there and to find out from his Officers who was there.

 

So, who was the “we” that Sorrels talked about?

 

Steve Thomas

 

So Item #3 says that they "witnessed this line-up" - not necessarily a line-up for Brennan's sake.

Brown and Dhority were at the 6:30, not the 7:55 it seems.  The "officers with witness" were with Barbara, not Brennan.  As I read it Steve, it appears the Barbara line-up was crashed by Sorrels and Brennen.  

The other DPD men were simply not involved and since he "Failed to ID" why would they make more of that in a report  or testimony?

With regards to the use of "WE",  it seems he uses "we" as the preferred pronoun regardless.  "We" in the case you name refers to he and Brennan.. FWIW

DJ

Mr. SORRELS - I did not talk to Oswald again, and I was around there. When I contacted Washington, I was informed that Inspector Kelley was being directed to be there, and he would be there later on that evening, that they had caught him out on the road, and he would come there to help out.
I also got information to Captain Fritz that I had this witness, Brennan, that I had talked to, and that I would like very much for him to get a chance to see Oswald in a lineup. And Captain Fritz said that would be fine.
So I instructed Special Agent Patterson, I believe it was, after I had located Brennan---had quite a difficult time to locate him, because he wasn't at home. And they finally prevailed upon his wife to try to help me locate him, and she, as I recall it, said that she would see if she could locate him by phone. I called her, I believe, the second time and finally got a phone number and called him and told him we would like for him to come down and arrange for him to meet one of our agents to pick him up at the place there. And when they came down there with him, I got ahold of Captain Fritz and told him that the witness was there, Mr. Brennan.
He said, "I wish he would have been here a little sooner, we just got through with a lineup. But we will get another fixed up."
So I took Mr. Brennan, and we went to the assembly room, which is also where they have the lineup, and Mr. Brennan, upon arrival at the police station, said, "I don't know if I can do you any good or not, because I have seen the man that they have under arrest on television," and he said. "I just don't know whether I can identify him positively or not" because he said that the man on television was a bit disheveled and his shirt was open or something like that, and he said "The man I saw was not in that condition."
So when we got to the assembly room, Mr. Brennan said he would like to get quite a ways back, because he would like to get as close to the distance away from where he saw this man at the time that the shooting took place as he could.
And I said, "Well, we will get you clear on to the back and then we can move up forward."
They did bring Oswald in in a lineup.
He looked very carefully, and then we rooted him up closer and so forth, and he said, "I cannot positively say."
I said, "Well, is there anyone there that looks like him?"
He said, "Well, that second man from the left," who was Oswald--"he looks like him."
Then he repeated that the man he saw was not disheveled.

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brennan fails to ID Oswald.gif

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